Tag Archives: Green Belt

Canvey Island’s Dutch Village Green Belt Development, Persimmons approach the 2nd Hurdle, with just one faller at the 1st!

Persimmon have big Housing Development plans for Canvey Island Green Belt.

However they appear happy to play the Long Game, as they again propose a Stable Block for Horses on the Dutch Village Green Belt on the Cornfields, as their first stage approach to their aims.

Note the new Application number should you care to object.

Green Belt. Land East of Canvey Road Application No. 18/0980/FUL | Erection of stable block with adjoining hay storage/tack room and associated landscaping, formation of access track together with the change of use of land for the keeping of horses, installation of a width restriction barrier to discourage unauthorised motorcycle access and main entrance gate alterations | Land East Of Canvey Road And South Of Great Russell Head Farm Canvey Island Essex

This will include the “Change of Use of Land” as it is Green Belt.
Their Application stresses the stables will be “Built Development”.

Those wishing to object to the application, can do so on the CPBC website.

The relevant page can be found HERE.

For those concerned or wishing to make comment we thought it might be helpful to make public our Grounds for Objection as registered with Castle Point Council, these follow below for you to see, feel free to cherry pick to add to your objections:-

This Proposal for Stables, also more importantly, includes the change of Use of Land.
Therefore, as a whole, it should be considered that the proposal represents inappropriate development in the Green Belt. The NPPF identifies that such development may only be permitted under Very Special Circumstances.

NPPF Paragraph 83 instructs “Once established, Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances, through the preparation or review of the Local Plan.” It can be argued that the “Change of Use of Land” should also only be considered, through the preparation or review of the Local Plan rather than by individual applications.
“All permanent stables and field shelters will require planning permission and, if the land is not in use for the keeping of horses, an application is unlikely to be acceptable.”

The Land has not been used, and is not used, for the keeping of horses. No permanent stables have been erected in the past.
The current security of the site actively discourages and prevents horses from having easy access to the fields.
As CPBC have recognised that a similar Application, 16/0433/FUL, required Very Special Circumstances, despite a Change of Use of Land NOT being necessary to be applied for.

The term Very Special Circumstances implies that a desperate “Need” for this facility must be Obvious and Proven, or that there are very few similar facilities in the area.

It should be noted that there are many similar facilities in the local area.
Most notable of which are the Approved Application for livery, stabling and 2 ménages at Sluice Farm, Haven Road, Canvey Island.
Approval for this considerable facility, Proposal 16/0433/FUL, for stables for 40 horses, was granted by Castle Point Borough Council as recently as 10th January 2017.

Also the long established nearby facilities at Northwick Poultry Farm x 2 yards, Northwick Road Canvey Island.
The Applicant states that “facilities are small scale” indeed accommodating a maximum of 2 horses only. This will have no tangible impact on any suggested unmet need for such facilities, even if such need were proven to exist.

In the light of these points raised, the Very Special Circumstances necessary cannot be considered to have been fulfilled.

Green Belt
Purposes

Whilst CPBC will be reminded that they are expected to consider only the Application for stables etc, it must be noted that the Applicant themselves goes to repeated lengths to emphasise “of course, as a matter of fact, the construction of such buildings in the Green Belt will give rise to built development upon it” as though some precursor to other types of more extensive development, they being Housing Developers.

The applicant points out “To the south is an extensive area of unmaintained scrubland which separates the site from the residential area to the south (Holland Avenue). This extensive area of scrub would preclude views of the stables from the residential area to the south. It is considered that the development would have no perceivable impact on Green Belt openness when viewed from the residential area to the south.”

This is presuming that this currently unmaintained area will remain so. This should not be assumed, as the area in its present unmaintained condition can be considered a very potential fire hazard to the houses along Holland Avenue. The area of scrubland has been allowed to grow high and against the rear garden fences of Holland Avenue and it would be reasonable to expect that these bushes and brambles should be cleared, thus removing the fire hazard.
Therefore this area of scrub cannot be considered a permanent feature and that the stable block and yard, a permanent Built feature, would then be compromising and impacting upon the Openess of the Green Belt.

The applicant refers to the Purposes of the Green Belt and notes ‘to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas’;5 By the applicant pointing out that their intention is to construct “buildings in the Green Belt will give rise to built development” they are in effect conceding that they would be harming the Green Belt by means of commencing Sprawl And beginning Encroachment into the countryside adjoining this largely built up area.

Archaeological Features

The Design document indicates that there would be no hard fencing restricting the movement of Horses outside of the Stable Yard.
The field abutting the proposed Stable Yard contains the Roman Saltern, a scheduled Ancient Monument, 260m south east of Great Russell Head Farm. This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance.

Applicants Design and Access Statement
This field, being the least low-lying, is the driest of the 4 fields making up the site during the wet winter months, whilst much of the other 3 fields remain heavily water-logged during this period.
The temptation to use the field containing the Roman Saltern during wet periods to allow “turning out” or exercise may well lead to potential damage of the archaeological feature and any historical artefacts below ground.
“The use of mobile, temporary horse fencing would allow ‘paddock’ areas to be formed for the grazing / exercising of the horses.”

The potential therefore exists for these fences to be knocked down whether by deliberate or accidental means, allowing horses to escape their confines, and / or riders to be unaware or careless and ride across and around the scheduled Ancient Monument Site.
Therefore the development will most likely lead to an adverse impact on the archaeological features close by.

Proposed Access
The Applicant is wrong, and it is misleading to suggest that; “The site currently benefits from a lawful access from Canvey Way.”

The current access is on a busy dual carriageway, Canvey Road. This is towards the end of a 50 mph stretch leading from Waterside Roundabout on which speeds of up to 70mph are not unusual! The access gate is directly ahead of the road as it curves into the approach to the Canvey Road / Roscommon Way roundabout.

The design plans indicate the intention to “set back” the gated entrance 6 metres from the footpath. Whilst this “pull in” may make the actual entry to the field somewhat safer, other Canvey Road field entrances, with similar “pull in”design, have been the subject of serious “Fly Tipping” problems. This has been notably recorded at the entrances to the Canvey West Marsh RSPB site, directly opposite.
The only solution to this Fly Tipping problem the RSPB have found, is to re-position the gates directly close to Canvey Road, the exact opposite of the Applicants Planning Proposal’s intentions.

The use of Canvey Road is planned to become busier, given the planned extension to Charfleets Industrial Estate and the approved Business / Retail Parks, increasing the private vehicle and heavy commercial vehicle use, adding to the potential hazards.
The assessed 6 vehicle movements per day for the proposed site, whilst few, will likely be during the most busy periods of the day, during the early morning commute and the start of the evening Rush Hour.

Adopted Local Plan Policy RE11: STABLES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE THE EXTENT OF ACTIVITY WOULD GIVE RISE TO AN UNACCEPTABLE LEVEL OF TRAFFIC GENERATION OR WOULD BE LIKELY TO CAUSE DANGER TO OTHER ROAD USERS. (my emphasis).

7 Design and Access Statement 6.12 and 6.13 with accompanying photograph 8 “ “ 6.2, 6.7, 8.8, 9.5
In the event of a Fire in the Stable Block, the Applicants submitted Stable Entrance Plan drawing, appears to indicate an inadequate entrance width for the Fire Service Pumps. The minimum requirement indicated in the London Fire Service document “Fire Service Guidance Note” GN29, between Gateways, is 3.1 metres. Whilst the Applicants Drawing gives no measurement figures, the width restriction appears to be no more than 3.0 metres wide.

The access would prove a very tight “turn-in” for a Fire Service pump, and mean blocking Canvey Road should the gate be locked, whilst access is gained.
Currently the field gate is locked and historically when fires have “broken out” or been started in the field proposed for the Stable Block or an adjacent field, the fire Service pump has had serious issues gaining access, due to the narrow locked gate and the general ground conditions.
The proposed entrance, given its position and layout, must be considered a critical feature and unsuitable for purpose.

Vandalism

The proposed site for the Stable block is very close to Canvey Road pedestrian pavement, adjacent to the “old” original Canvey Road, thereby hidden from view of vehicles passing by.
The RSPB site and West Canvey Marsh opposite have suffered from vandalism.

The Stable Block would likely act as a “magnet” for vandals being, unlit, housing unattended animals over night, out of sight of passers-by view thereby “secret”, and of wooden construction, containing feed and bedding, all potential fire hazards.
Historically young children “play” in the field, making dens etc, directly behind the gardens of Holland Avenue. Occasionally attempts are made to light fires but in the main residents are aware of the activity and are able to take preventative measures.
Older generation of youngsters are responsible for the sporadic more serious fire starting on other parts of the land, that takes place usually over the course of the summer months, and causes the Fire Service to attend.
The potential for harm to animals, damage to the facility and creating a more serious fire, with more serious consequences, close to the scrub field directly behind the Stable Block, to the south, should not be dismissed.

At 6.9 of the Design and Access Statement, and to conform to cpbc officer requests, a width restriction gate is proposed to discourage unauthorised Motor cyclists. Whilst this would not be unwelcome, it must be acknowledged that this form of nuisance does not amount to the problem that it once was.

In the event of the Fire Service and Ambulance service vehicles requiring to attend the site in an Emergency, during the wet winter months, the poorly drained and waterlogged fields may well present a serious problem for the vehicles traction.
Impact on the Neighbourhood.

The intention is to use the created horse manure as agricultural fertiliser. This is usually created by allowing the horse manure to rot down on site.
The rear gardens of Holland Avenue, being just 70 metres away will most likely be affected by the smells emitting, especially during the warmer months when residents will expect to be able to leave windows and doors open to enjoy the fresh air, but would likely be prevented from doing so.

1998 Adopted Local Plan
RE11 (iii) BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE RESIDENTIAL AMENITIES OF NEARBY PROPERTIES BY VIRTUE OF NOISE, SMELL OR GENERAL DISTURBANCE. (my emphasis) And further; “would be likely to cause danger to other road users” by means of unsuitable entry access.

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Castle Point Local Plan clear hints that Green Belt and Greenfield Land to be sacrificed! Household Projection and Development Delivery doubts mean it’s time for local MP’s involvement?

The Outlook is Bleak for Canvey Island and Castle Point residents, regarding the levels and locations of the raft of new development, both Housing and Business, planned for the borough!

Conversations between “informed contacts” over the Local Plan have confirmed an extremely pessimistic outlook, especially where Green Belt, safety, commuting, policing, health services and general Infrastructure is concerned!

The likely proposed Housing Need numbers will propose eating into the Green Belt and green fields. This will quite rightly raise residents concerns and focus thoughts as to whose Housing Needs are being fulfilled.

this especially following the latest Household Growth Projections being lower than previously estimated. The most recent effect of this has prompted the North Herts local authority to revisit their Housing Need projections at the behest of the Local Plan examining Inspector!

The latest housing projection figures have emerged as being significantly lower than the proposed number of homes to be built in the North Hertfordshire Local Plan, with the district council criticised for “sweeping the numbers under the carpet”. Article may be viewed HERE.

The question raised is whether the substance of the Government’s drive for 300,000 new builds per annum, is to match actual Housing Need, or to fulfil an aspiration.

In the case of the North Herts Local Plan the Inspector has suggested that the LA’s Housing target should be revisited despite the suggestion the Housing Minister, having commented on the general subject;

Kit Malthouse acknowledged the impact of this (Household Projection levels being lower), and advised plan-making authorities should not “take their foot off the accelerator”

Surely if the Policy of Green Belt and its permanence, plus other accepted physical Constraints are to have any Credibility at all, an aspirational drive for a Housing Target that is beyond Need should be challenged.

Is this not time for our MP Rebecca Harris, to not be asking and providing answers ahead of the Castle Point “Special Council” meeting, part of the rigid Government Timetable set only to avoid Intervention?

A Local Plan solely drawn up to a rigid Timetable, rather than being supported by the latest Evidence Base documentation, Risks being found Unsound!

“In July 2017, the Leaders and Chief Executives of the South Essex Authorities (Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, Thurrock and Essex County Council) initiated an approach of collaboration to develop a long-term place-based growth ambition.
South Essex Joint Strategic Plan.

It is set to deliver a minimum of 90,000 new homes and 52,000 new jobs by 2038.”

Note the date July 2018, well ahead of Household Projection changes, Castle Point leader and ceo, have fully engaged on behalf of Castle Point in this venture, that has also set Housing Figures ahead of the Household Projections, knowing full well that we will not see Highway Infrastructure improvements in the Borough.

Whilst, the 3rd quarter 2018 New House Builds numbers are 15% up on last year, much of this may be influenced by Housing Association involvement in large projects.

Housing associations are involved in a number of big London developments, including Swan Housing Association’s £300m project in Poplar with 1,500 planned homes, half of which are slated as affordable.
Developer Countryside Properties and London & Quadrant (L&Q) Housing Trust have teamed up to redevelop the former Ford factory site in Dagenham with up to 3,000 homes, half of them affordable. Housing associations also play a big part in the north-west of England, where L&Q has gone into partnership with Trafford Housing Trust in Manchester.
Full report HERE.

Castle Point appears to hold more appeal to developers of Market Priced Housing, rather than Affordable builds.

Generally speaking the target of 300,000* new builds per Annum, apart from being an unsubstantiated target, also appears to be out of reach, at least for this year. Whether this is down to the economic background, especially where the current high deposit required for a mortgage is concerned, or the doubts over the Building Industry workforce in the uncertainty over Brexit**, is concerned should not influence to great an extent, the cpbc Local Plan.

What must be considered is how will releasing Green Field land affect the Borough without improved Infrastructure first, as we were promised.

CPBC leader cllr smith said;

Any development has to have infrastructure and that is the whole point of us having control of our plan. All of these issues will be taken into account, when we put forward our plan.” “Roads and the number of homes built are being considered because if we do not do something about it now, the Government will.”

Now it appears, following feedback, there may be little gained by Castle Point Borough council avoiding Intervention!

smiff

  • More about falling short of the 300,000 target by 50,000 HERE
  • More on Brexit and Building workforce HERE

 

 

A Housing Gift Horse, Golf Course! Mainlanders can breath a sigh of Relief? Canvey Island to be flooded with a Sea of Concrete?

Following the Castle Point Golf Club (Canvey Island) operators issuing a message on social media, see below, the possibility for EVEN more Housing to be allocated to Canvey Island, through the Local Plan2018, becomes a distinct possibility!

The Golf Course, indicated as being within the Green Belt, has previously been mooted as yet another area that developers would like to see allocated for Housing. Despite it being next to the environmentally and ecologically sensitive Benfleet Creek area, and of course close by to one of the parts of the Sea Defence likely to be over-topped by Tidal Flood water!

The CPBC Local Plan2018 Technical Evidence summary document states only;

Golf courses
5.8 Both golfing facilities in the borough should be supported to ensure that sites are able to retain current members and users as well as, whereas appropriate, assisting them in capitalising on any untapped demand plus future demand generated from housing growth and population increases.

The possibility of the Golf Course capitalising on Housing Growth in other ways, had “apparently” not occurred to cpbc officers nor members.

Let the same business argument used by the owners of the King Canute and the Admiral Jellicoe public houses, of if the business and property are not viable, then other uses must be found, be a Warning!

Yet another Blot on the Canvey Island landscape beckons?

Golf Course

 

Residents in Castle Point wait to hear the Up Side of retaining the Local Plan In-House, rather than facing Government Intervention! Oh and how much Green Belt to be Released!

The latest public “announcement” on the Castle Point council Local Plan will be made during the cpbc cabinet meeting on Wednesday 19th September.

Residents will learn exactly what cpbc spokespeople actually meant when they stated they must keep the Local Plan within the council’s grasp, rather than face Government Intervention and all that that entailed!

In a report compiled by the ceo D Marchant, that may more aptly be delivered by wearing the cloak of the Grim Reaper, members will hear in clear terms the penalties that will befall residents of Castle Point, if they were not to fall in line and endorse whatever local plan messrs Smith, Marchant and Rogers enforce into publication.

Obviously there will be the intention to release more Green Belt land than was previously agreed, otherwise there would have been little need to delay progress of the 2016 local plan.

Instead Bureaucratic measures by this miserable triumvirate have taken over what should have been a democratic and public exercise!

“Intervention by Government in any area of local government business is a last resort and follows poor decision making and failure to follow Government direction and advice.

We have been reminded by Government that intervention is a sanction and should not be considered as an alternative mechanism to deliver a Local Plan.

We are aware that the Secretary of State is still considering whether to intervene in the local plan process.”

There then follows a further threat to Cabinet members, and other council members in attendance;

“In terms of decision-taking, the Government will wish to make certain after intervention that the statutory development plan and policies for the Borough will be implemented and will not allow the local plan once agreed to be frustrated by the Development Control process.

Consequently as the Borough Council had no role in the preparation of the plan, indications from the MHCLG are that the Secretary of State will exercise powers available to him to direct that any strategic planning applications submitted pursuant to the plan will be referred to the Planning Inspectorate directly rather than the Borough Council,”

“As one of the very few planning authorities under intense scrutiny by MHCLG* the Council remains at great risk of intervention and this will lead to considerable reputational damage on a national scale.”

*Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

BUT what if, this likely release of Green Belt and denser Urbanisation of previously developed land, fails to see Developers and Builders deliver the required Housing Needs of London and Castle Point?

It would be naíve to think that developers would build at a rate that would jeopardise the Market Price of Housing. What if the Governor of the Bank of England’s worse projection, a 30% fall in house prices following a bad Brexit, comes to fruition?

Will more land be required to be released because other developers have put forward alternative proposals to those in the Local Plan, which they suggest they are more able to deliver?

Government and local authorities cannot manipulate the market. previous delivery rates ARE relevant, especially when you remember that only Glebelands and part of Jotmans Farm have seen applications lodged and rejected in Castle Point for, a Total of 405 dwellings since 2010!

A cpbc Local Plan that proposes to Release anymore than the 100 Dwellings per Annum agreed by the local council in the 2016 local plan, will not only see protests by residents but will also likely lead to Polling day reaction.

We were promised Localism as the way forward in Plan making.

Instead we will likely see a Bureaucratic plan delivered by the leader of cpbc intended to satisfy the national government.

A Local Plan padded out with aspirational and undeliverable infrastructure and Sea Defence improvements AND a Plan that is Sequentially corrupt!

A new Report by  Lichfields warns of difficulties for local authorities in satisfying the Housing Delivery Test.

Lichfields write;

The housing delivery test (HDT) will become increasingly difficult to satisfy

“The HDT is a monitoring tool the Government will use to demonstrate whether local areas are building enough homes to meet their housing need. Based on the outcome of this monitoring, councils may be required to undertake further action in the near future.”

“In November 2018, the test will compare housing delivery (net additional dwellings plus communal housing) to housing need (the lower of the three years in an up-to-date local plan or household projections plus unmet neighbours’ need).”

The full Lichfield report may be read via this LINK.
maco

Canvey Island’s Last Chance, Benfleet residents dictating the Development and Future Plan of Castle Point!

The Canvey Island pages on Facebook and Social Media will likely soon be red hot with the impact of what the CPBC Local Plan proposes. Increased Traffic Congestion, loss of Green Spaces and over subscribed medical facilities will give us all something to rage about!

Why then does it appear that Canvey Residents are shy of making their views known to the Council ahead of these decisions being made?

With a potential 342 new dwellings being planned for across Castle Point, you can bet a large majority will be built on Canvey and the southern part of the mainland!

Do we believe our voice will not be heard, or our views won’t be considered, or simply that Canvey folk are disengaged from Castle Point Council?

Why is there little press coverage and information, why are CPBC, with their own social media outlets silent instead of encouraging engagement?

With just a week to go, looking at the opening pages of the Local Plan Consultation website Portal, it is clear that Benfleet Folk, understandably concerned for their own environment, are up for the Battle!

There appear far more responses from the mainland than Canvey.

Many, not all, are objecting to all of the mainland proposed development, leaving Canvey Island development sites exposed, due to low objections from the Canvey Community! The Consultation is simply a tick box exercise with a space to add comments, the only tricky part may be registering to comment!

The Link to the CPBC Local Plan Consultation can be found HERE.

Where your first step is to look for the self explanatory line that reads; “In order to complete this form you must first log in or register if you have not yet done so already.”

Your view is important. So far entries do not bode well, the balance needs addressing!

Here are just a few entries on the Consultation:

WM Morrisons (Supermarkets) the “triangle” site (Canvey Road) should be identified as a housing allocation….
PLUS the football pitches to the east of the Morrisons Store on Canvey Island, and owned by Morrisons……. The inclusion of the site as employment land would also provide a valuable addition to the Charfleets Industrial Estate.

………………………..

Inner London Group seeks the enlargement of the land area allocated under Policy E4 (Extension to Charfleets Industrial Estate) to include contiguous land to the east of the existing allocation,bounded by the extension to Roscommon Way to the north and Haven Road to the east

…………………………

OIKOS (OSL) “As has been explained by OSL in its representation on policy T2, delivering this extension of Roscommon Way would require land which the current landowners and lessees (OSL) do not wish to give. For this and other reasons explained, the Roscommon Way extension is not considered to be realistic or deliverable.”

……………………………

Basildon Borough Council “raises questions regarding Castle Point’s land capacity for housing. The 2013 Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) identifies that Castle Point has capacity for around 7,300 homes.”

……………………….

Southend Borough Council conclude: “Further the approach taken in preparing the Plan does not fully meet the requirements of the duty to co-operate as outlined in the Localism Act 2011 and the NPPF.”

……………………….

CCA_news_img1_lrg

Photo Courtesy: canveycomesalive

 

Canvey Residents – Ignore the Castle Point Local Plan Consultation at your Peril! Changes – Development – Pipe Dreams and Promises are Afoot!

Whether you Bother to Answer, and How you Answer, the CPBC consultation questions, will have a direct bearing on how much Canvey Island changes in the immediate Future! Council Leaders and officers will have appeasement from the Government threat of Intervention in the cpbc Local Plan, uppermost in Mind!

Paddocks

The Paddocks community centre, Canvey Island

Make no Mistake, Development, both Housing and Business, on the most easily accessible large Green Field sites is the likely outcome of Castle Point’s Local Plan consultation!

Once the Local Plan consultation period is over the “Tricks of the Trade” of those charged with “interpreting” the responses come into play.

Previous consultations have seen many objections against cpbc proposed Local Plans, this has led to cpbc council Leaders suggesting that the “non responders” views mirrored those of the council Leaders, despite them having no evidence to suggest they did!

It is for this reason that Canvey Island residents should not only take part in the Local Plan consultation, but also be very careful how the questions are responded to!

Your responses may well be construed to mean something very much different in the hands of cpbc!

An eagerness for infrastructure, may be construed to indicate that residents are in favour of more large developments on Canvey Island. Whilst the Infrastructure improvements amount to pipe dreams, be sure that, the developments will be forthcoming!

Consultation Question 9, for example asks;

Which approach described below in providing new development is most suitable for the borough?

A Intensify existing built up areas with new development and increased density
B Create new settlements in the borough
C Disperse developments to the edge of the built up areas

Before you Answer A, we should remember that Canvey Island is already the most densely Urbanised part of the Borough!
Answer C flies in the face of the Purposes of the Green Belt, that is, “to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas”
Answer B would appear to have implications for residents elsewhere in the Borough.

Answer Question 11 without an explanation and you will be considered to support large site development on Canvey Island!

11. What type of housing do you feel is best suited to your area? (tick all that apply)
Affordable rents, Buy-to-let, Elderly care homes etc, etc.

None of which can be provided without Private Investment, likely off the back of large scale, market price, private development!

Housing allocations
“The new Local Plan 2018 will revisit all potential sites considered within the 2014 and 2016 Plans and assess their future suitability through technical studies,”

No they will not! All Canvey sites, with the exception of the “Triangle Site”, behind the Dutch Cottage Canvey Road, for some reason, were considered to be developable whether Green Belt or Brownfield, or in a Flood Risk zone or Critical Drainage Area, which incidentally the whole of Canvey is!

The Constraints on development revealed in the Technical Studies are all dismissed by cpbc where Canvey Island is concerned!

13a. Do you support the potential residential development at land at Thorney Bay Caravan Park, Canvey Island?

Absolutely irrelevant Consultation question. The owners have permissions in place for a Park Home site and are successfully developing one. CPBC have no jurisdiction over the likely loss of the Roscommon Way final phase land.

14a. Do you support the potential residential development at land at Point Road, Canvey Island?

The Business site was first proposed as a housing development, then returned with a vastly inflated figure of Housing, drawing many, many objections from local residents not least because of the reliance on the tiny roundabout access area and the Flats proposed. And, where would all of the current businesses be re-housed, well no doubt onto more Canvey Green field land around the Roscommon Way area!

20a. Do you support the potential residential development at land west of Benfleet?

Ask ourselves, can we really take more traffic on Canvey Way? And by the way, this is Jotmans Farm if you didn’t recognise the site name.

22a. Do you support the potential residential development at land east of Canvey Road?

Do they really need to ask? This is the Dutch Village Green Belt site, the one that out of the 6,534 Referendum Votes cast, just 56 Canvey Islanders said they were comfortable with persimmons developing!

23a. Do you support the potential residential development at land fronting Canvey Road?

This is beside the Dutch Cottage, Green Belt site, I am sure the extra traffic filing down from Sadlers Farm to Thorney Bay Road every evening, is something we could do without.

26a. Do you support the extension to Roscommon Way?

Given that there is no funding, and that Essex Highways do not wish to burden themselves with future maintenance costs, and that the Thorney Bay part of the land required may not be available for development anyway, this appears simply an unlikely aspiration.

27a. Do you support widening of Sommes Avenue?

Of course we do, but wouldn’t the installation of the cycle way along the North side of Somnes Avenue by ECC, mean that there is no space for the widening of Somnes Avenue by ECC?

29a. Do you support dualling of the northern section of the A130 Canvey Way in the vicinity of Sadlers Farm?

Or put another way, do you support development of Jotmans Farm with access an access onto Canvey Way.
Really?

32a. Do you support improved access to Canvey Island?

Well of course we do, but it will be at the likely expense of much more land released for development. Thurrock Council opposition will not remove their objection and cpbc will have to overturn their own Local Plan Evidence findings that; “it is not obvious that a new road access to Canvey Island could enable the area to benefit to a much greater extent from the major port and distribution development at London Gateway in Thurrock. The cost of such infrastructure would also need to be weighed against the scale of economic benefits likely to accrue to Canvey Island, and the extent of these do not appear likely to be major.”

And Finally, as they say:

34. Do you have any additional comments on the new Local Plan 2018?

Not unless you feel the fact that Canvey Island, the whole of which, is a Critical Drainage Area, is also a tidal Flood Zone 3a area, and has 2 Top Tier Comah sites, meaning should there ever be a need to evacuate the Island, the Emergency Services would be unable to cope with the current levels of Canvey’s population, has some bearing on the Consultation that castle point officers appear to be overlooking or ignoring!

Local Plan – is it “Coming Home”, or Not? Roll up, Roll Up! Two Plans for the Price of just One – Castle Point’s Never had it so Good!

Canvey Island and Castle Point residents are being asked to add their opinions and thoughts to the latest Local Plan 2018 consultation process.

Town Centre
This is despite the fact that the Secretary of State, through the opinion of the Government’s Chief Planner, has yet to decide whether Castle Point council are deemed willing and capable of completing the Local Plan publication process themselves to the point of adoption!

The whole Castle Point Local Plan process is being carried out in a Rush under the threat of Intervention!

This despite the Secretary of State’s own office taking from 18 December 2015, when the Inspector issued his report into the Jotmans Farm housing Appeal inquiry, until the 21st April 2017, 16 whole months, to come to a decision. Apparently no hurry then to come to a planning decision, until an Election was imminent.

Residents entering the LP2018 process will note that there isn’t a Local Plan to actually consider, instead there are 2 !

Two Local Plans, from a single Evidence Base!

This shows, as Canvey Islanders should by now be aware, how “Local Factors” and politics can distort and manipulate the contents of Local Plans!

According to the cpbc Chief Executive officer up to 100,000 consultees are invited to respond, despite the 2011 population of Castle Point being just 88,011 and many of these being young children. this may lead to the Consultation response rate being skewed low! Previous response rates have been around just 12%

These Low response rates can lead to distortions of the “Feed Back” by the cpbc officers and our elected representatives. Previously, through these influences, we have seen Housing Growth directed onto Canvey Island despite Flood Risk being an issue, and the reduction of Housing Numbers, due to the concerns over Green Belt loss.

These influences on the Housing Growth have chiefly been in response to mainland residents concerns, indicated through the previous draft Local Plans consultations.

In recent times we have witnessed the pressure of residents and mainland councillors protest be successful in the prevention of the proposed Essex County Council closure of the Deanes school. This was strengthened by the cpbc chief executive’s supporting statement that there was to be a large Housing development site in the surrounding area, residents of which would be attending the Deanes to bring the attendance numbers nearer ECC expectations.

In contrast Canvey’s Castle View school, serving the most densely urbanised part of Castle Point and South Benfleet, was simply Closed!

A public facility closed, and sold off to a sectarian private enterprise.

The Paddocks, allowed to deteriorate despite money being available some years ago for improvements with a top up from CPBC funds, is now seen as a potential Housing development site.

If Canvey Island residents are tired of being dictated to, they must take the trouble to involve themselves in the Consultation.

This is crucial as, not only will a low response rate allow certain councillors to suggest that he, or she represents the “silent majority”, but will allow a potential disastrous Local Plan to emerge just so that it may appear CPBC are compliant with the 2 new strategic “Quango’s”, the “Association of South Essex Local Authorities” (ASELA) and the “Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission”!

Dalliance with either or both will lead to major growth changes, both in population from the 90,000 dwellings across the area and traffic especially locally, with no infrastructure improvements. Canvey Island, purely due to its situation will always remain an outpost. However many people are managed to be housed here, little infrastructure will be forthcoming simply because we are in Austere times.

Infrastructure requires maintenance, ECC are not looking to spend more on maintenance!

For all of the Canvey Island Petitions and Referendum the past has proved that election words and promises are cheap, we need to accept that due to our location, the area is seen as Developable, whether Housing, Business or Industrial, yet little benefit or financial return is gained by Infrastructure improvements.

As it stands your Local plan consultation response, in the first instance, will be weighed against mainland responses.

If you  as a Canvey resident consider;

that Canvey Island has become over developed to the point that New Large Housing development sites are unviable,

that the Traffic Issues mean the potential congestion is unreasonable,

that Tidal Flood Risk is not taken seriously enough when distributing Housing Growth,

that the whole of the increasing Urbanised area of Canvey Island is a Critical Drainage Area and the ever increasing development is putting too greater strain on the drainage system,

that the Road Access is inadequate for the current population, many of whom commute, and unsuitable and especially inadequate in the event of an Emergency Evacuation,

that in a severe Emergency, whether Flood Risk or Industrial, the sheer number of Residents on Canvey Island and the island’s location, mean that any response by the Emergency Services will be inadequate and a Danger to Life, despite responders best efforts,

that our Green Spaces and Green Belt are important to our well-being and should NOT be developed,

that our Town Centre is badly in need of Regeneration and Re-development and under serious threat from out of town shopping areas,

then you really should make the effort to Log onto the Castle Point council website and respond to the Consultation.

Otherwise it will be left to the Government, Council officers and the majority mainland representatives to impose on us “their” Local Plan.

To add your thoughts and concerns to the cpbc Local plan Consultation, log on HERE.

To view the documentation, log on HERE.